Weekly Economic Newsletter – May 21, 2018


“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.”
– Blaise Pascal



Yes, you could file for Social Security at 62, as soon as you are eligible. It might pay to wait, however. The size of your monthly payment will grow by about 8% for every year you hold off claiming benefits through age 70.



They come at night without being called. They are lost in the day without being stolen. What are they?



Last week’s riddle:
I grind my feet upon the earth, my forward motion supported by a metal hearth. What I call food and drink was left behind by changes made in an ancient time. What am I?


Last week’s answer:
An automobile.




April’s advance remained at that level, even with car and truck sales removed. It paled compared to the 0.8% March gain reported by the Department of Commerce, but it matched the consensus forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.1


An 11.3% drop for apartment construction set the pace of overall housing starts back 3.7% last month, Department of Commerce data noted.2


According to Freddie Mac, the mean interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage last week was 4.61%. That exceeds any number seen since May 2011. Redfin says that the median existing home sold in April spent only 36 days on the market, a sign that buyers have rushed to close quickly before rates climb higher.3


The small-cap benchmark notched its third straight record close on Friday, settling at 1,626,63 and rising 1.23% for the week. Blue chips lost 0.47% in five days, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipping to 24,715.09 at Friday’s close. The S&P 500 settled 0.54% lower for the week at 2,712.97, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.66% in five days, finishing Friday’s trading session at 7,354.34. Through Friday, the big three were all at least 1% higher for the month. Oil ended the week at $71.35 on the NYMEX.4,5

THIS WEEK: Nothing major is scheduled for Monday. Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Container Store, Cracker Barrel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intuit, Kohl’s, TJX Companies, Toll Brothers, and Urban Outfitters all present earnings Tuesday. April new home sales figures, minutes from this month’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, and earnings from L Brands, Lowe’s, NetApp, Ralph Lauren, Stein Mart, Target, and Williams-Sonoma attract Wall Street’s attention Wednesday. On Thursday, investors react to earnings news from Best Buy, Gap, Hormel Foods, Lionsgate, Medtronic, Ross Stores, Royal Bank of Canada, Shoe Carnival, Stage Stores, TD Bank, and Toro, along with April existing home sales data and a new initial jobless claims report. Friday, the University of Michigan’s final May consumer sentiment index arrives, along with a report on April durable goods orders and earnings from Foot Locker; additionally, Fed chair Jerome Powell joins a panel discussion at a central banking conference in Sweden.


Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 5/18/184,5,6,7
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

1 – marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic [5/18/18]

2 – cnbc.com/2018/05/16/us-housing-starts-april-2018.html [5/16/18]
3 – latimes.com/business/la-fi-high-mortgage-rates-20180517-story.html [5/17/18]
4 – tinyurl.com/y8ao4tbd [5/18/18]
5 – markets.wsj.com/us [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=5%2F18%2F17&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=5%2F18%2F17&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=5%2F18%2F17&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=5%2F17%2F13&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=5%2F17%2F13&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=5%2F17%2F13&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=5%2F19%2F08&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=5%2F19%2F08&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=5%2F19%2F08&x=0&y=0 [5/18/18]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [5/18/18]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [5/18/18]



This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.


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